Table 1

Useful terms

CredibilityCredibility is establishing the study’s findings with reality. This demonstrates the believability or truth of the findings. It ascertains whether the study findings are believable based on the participants’ original data and participants’ views.
ConfirmabilityConfirmability questions how the study findings are supported by the data. It identifies any bias that may have been present. It is the level to which the findings can be confirmed or corroborated. Confirmability is concerned with determining that data and interpretations of the findings are not made up by the researcher’s imagination, but clearly derived from the data.
Member checkingThis is a technique in which the data, interpretations, analytical categories and conclusions are fed back to the participants from whom the data were collected. This process strengthens the data as it allows participants to clarify and correct any errors and provide additional information if necessary. It can also highlight how participants and researchers view the data differently.
RigourThis is the systematic approach and techniques used to ensure reliability and validity of the study.
ReflexivityReflexivity is the practice of critical self-reflection about oneself as a researcher. It involves looking at one’s biases, preferences and preconceptions. The researcher should reflect on their relationship to the participant, and how the relationship affects participant’s answers to questions or decisions in the research. For example, how does being a nurse impact on interviewing a patient in your care?
TriangulationTriangulation refers to the use of different ways of collecting or analysing data and the cross-checking of these to see if findings from different methods, different analysts, different theories or different reliability checks of sources show similar results.
TrustworthinessTrustworthiness is concerned with how the researchers establish the study findings as credible, transferable and confirmable.
TransferabilityThis refers to the level of which the study findings can be transferred to other situations. The reader should look at the detail of the study including the methods and rigour applied and compare this to their own situation to determine if the findings can be applied to their own situation.